How Do Bed Bugs Bites Get In Your House

Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small insects that often live on furniture or bedding. Their bites can be itchy, but do not usually cause other health problems.

Check if it’s bedbugs

Jeff March / Alamy Stock Photo

Bedbugs can hide in many places, including on bed frames, mattresses, clothing, furniture, behind pictures and under loose wallpaper.

Signs of bedbugs include:

  • bites – often on areas exposed while sleeping, like the face, neck and arms
  • spots of blood on your bedding – from the bites or from squashing a bedbug
  • small brown spots on bedding or furniture (bedbug poo)

Bedbug bites can be red and itchy. They’re often in a line or cluster.

Otto Pleska / Alamy Stock Photo

Some people have a reaction to the bites. They can be very itchy and there may be painful swelling.

How you can treat bedbug bites

Bedbug bites usually clear up on their own in a week or so.

Things you can do include:

  • putting something cool, like a clean, damp cloth, on the affected area to help with the itching and any swelling
  • keeping the affected area clean
  • not scratching the bites to avoid getting an infection

You can ask a pharmacist about:

  • using a mild steroid cream like hydrocortisone cream to ease bedbug bites (children under 10 and pregnant women should get advice from a doctor before using hydrocortisone cream)
  • antihistamines – these may help if the bites are very itchy and you’re unable to sleep

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • the bites are still very painful, swollen or itchy after trying treatments from a pharmacist
  • the redness around the bites is spreading

You may have an infection and need treatment with antibiotics.

Coronavirus update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

How to get rid of bedbugs

contact your local council or pest control service – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get rid of bedbugs yourself because they can be resistant to some insecticides

wash affected bedding and clothing – use a hot wash (60C) or tumble dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes

put affected clothing and bedding in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer (-16C) for 4 days (alternative to hot washing)

clean and vacuum regularly – bedbugs are found in both clean and dirty places, but regular cleaning will help you spot them early

do not keep clutter around your bed

do not bring secondhand furniture indoors without carefully checking it first

do not take luggage or clothing indoors without checking it carefully if you have come from somewhere where you know there were bedbugs

Page last reviewed: 21 January 2019
Next review due: 21 January 2022

How do bed bugs bites get in your house

A look at how do you get bed bugs, how they spread in your home, where do the bugs live and hide as well as how to check for the symptoms of bed bugs.

Most people heard this little ditty growing up:

"Good night, sleep tight;
don’t let the bed bugs bite!"

As kids, most of us found that amusing. Bed bugs are no laughing matter, however; they are repulsive blood-sucking parasites. Their scientific name is Cimex lectularius. Like mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs are insects that feed on blood. They are small (an adult is about a quarter-inch long), flat and oval-shaped.

Where Do Bed Bugs Live And Hide?

Bed bugs are particularly well-adapted to live parasitically on humans. So where do bed bugs live and hide? No bigger than apple seeds, they typically hide in tiny cracks in headboards, on bed frames, deep in mattresses, inside electrical outlets, as well as in furnitures. Bedding and mattresses provide the ideal breeding ground for these pests; the warmth and moisture – plus the warm bodies of hapless sleepers to feed on nightly – make the bed a perfect hiding place and home for them.

How Are Bed Bugs Spread And How Did They Get In My Home?

Bed bugs spread when an individual comes into contact with them in an infested room or apartment. Contrary to common belief, bed bugs are not attracted to dirt or filth and do not discriminate when it comes to infesting homes of both the rich and poor.

They have been reported to be found from the dingiest budget motels to the swankiest five-star resort – and these tiny pests spread by hitching a ride back to the victim’s home through the luggage or clothing.

Bed bugs can also sometimes spread through secondhand clothing bought at yard sales, from used furniture picked up off the curb or from refurbished items sold in stores.

Once the bugs are in your home, they will crawl their way into bedding or furniture upholstery where they stay dormant during the day but come out at night to feed on their victims.

How To Check For Bed Bugs: Signs And Symptoms

Like mosquitoes, ticks and vampire bats, bed bugs have evolved the remarkable ability to generate a natural anesthetic; as a result, people rarely actually feel the bites when bed bugs are feeding. Once bitten, however, the result is fairly noticeable. Like a mosquito bite, the bitten spot tends produce a reddish welt that itches a great deal.

One of the specific markers for bed bug bites is the presence of welts in rows; three or four welts that often appear on the skin very close together. This is because the insect responds to small movements as people sleep. It pulls out of the skin and continues with another bite right next to the first. In addition, several of the critters may be feeding side-by-side.

Another way of detecting the presence of bed bugs is to inspect your mattress and bedding. Are there any unusual small, reddish-brown stains on the bed sheets? These could be indicative of bed bugs which fed and were subsequently crushed, spilling their blood meal on the mattress or mattress cover.

To sum up, if you suspect you have been bitten by a bed bug, look for the following:

  • Rows of red, itchy welts on the skin that appear in a linear or clustered pattern
  • Consistent new bite marks or bumps that appear on your body every day
  • Reddish or brownish (dried blood) stains on mattresses or bedding

Tips To Prevent And Keep Bed Bugs Out Of Your Home And Bed

With rising reports of bed bugs infestation across various cities in the United States and around the world, the following are some simple prevention steps one can take to protect oneself:

    Do not pick up second-hand furniture off the street even if it look great. If you bought or rent a used furniture, have it inspected before bringing it back home.

  • If you travel, first check out Bed Bug Registry for any reports of bed bugs in the hotel you intend to stay. Once in the hotel rooms, always inspect the hotel mattress, sheets and headboards for any signs of bed bug activities.
  • When returning home from your travels, immediately have your luggage inspected in the bathroom tub and dump all the clothing to be washed in hot water (minimum 120В°F) for at least 20 minutes.

    Reducing clutter around the house and regular vacuuming to limit areas where bugs can hide.

    Invest in a bed bug proof mattress encasement to protect against an infestation inside the mattress as well as guard against bed bug bites.

  • Apply pesticides like bed bug spray and powders to defend your perimeters around the apartment, house or bed.
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    Where Do Bed Bugs Come From – How Do You Get Bed Bugs

    How do you get bed bugs in your house? Anyone who has ever woken up with a chain of red blisters from the bites of night parasites would wonder where bed bugs come from. In most cases, bed bugs are not transferred to the apartments. The thing is that they live there for decades, not revealing their presence at once. Mostly these insects spread from one apartment to another, but where do bed bugs come from?

    It is impossible to answer this question because they just spread through the building being attracted by the presence of humans. How do bed bugs get in bed? After penetration into the premises, insects hide under the beds, in the wardrobes, under the carpets, behind the baseboards, in the cracks of furniture and in mattresses. These insects prefer to settle in places where they can bite people during night time.

    In suburban areas bed bugs find human dwelling using their sense of smell. Then insects move to the buildings from chicken coops and rabbitries, where they parasitize on the skin of medium-sized animals. However, bed bugs parasitism on other mammals and birds is more like an exception, because these insects usually feed on human blood.

    Bed bugs are not very mobile insects. They cannot fly and run much slower than cockroaches, but they can survive without food for quite a long time. Thus, bed bugs can travel for long distances. How do bed bugs spread? Despite the fact that these parasites cannot run fast, they spread through the apartment considerably quickly. They move freely through ventilation holes, electrical wiring channels and cracks in doors. Due to flat shape of their bodies these insects are able to crawl even where no cracks or holes are visible. It is impossible to isolate an apartment from bed bugs because they come through the outlets and by the outer walls through the windows. It is especially true for the apartments in old high-rise buildings and the houses built in the countryside.

    How Do You Get Bed Bugs in Your House

    First, people get bed bugs by bringing them home from journeys. For example, bed bugs can be in the luggage and the things brought from the trips, to the warm countries in particular. Tropical Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia and India seem to be a paradise for thermophilic bed bugs. Thus, travelers have to remember that the last place they traveled to before the bugs appearance is the most likely to be a historic homeland of the blood-sucking parasites. In this case, you can bring a single adult female that may lay eggs and give rise to a new population. You should be cautious because these insects can hide or accidentally fall into the pleats of the clothes, into the suitcases, bags and footwear, and travel through several time zones. This way of getting bed bugs is particularly relevant for backpackers, who often change hotels.

    One more common method of how bed bugs come to the new house is hiding in the furniture, especially in the new one. In furniture factories or stores bugs have nothing to eat; thus, new products are not infested. Pieces of furniture from infested houses and apartments are, on the contrary, the main breeding ground for these parasites.

    People can also get bed bugs on clothes. Although these insects prefer to bite open skin areas, they often hide in the clothes left in the apartment or taken off before going to bed. Thus, you can bring bugs into your house by visiting the infested house or taking guests from such a place. Moreover, there are known cases when bed bugs were found in expensive clothing shops in unworn clothes. The insects got there from people who lived in the infested apartments or from neighboring premises.

    Furthermore, bed bugs can get into the house with new appliances. These insects prefer to spend the daytime in warm places. Thus, they can stay in laptops, tablets, scanners, microwave ovens, and any other appliances, and be transferred to a new place from the store.

    Moreover, bed bugs can get into the apartment being carried by animals. It is a very rare way of transferring these insects, but it may happen too. Despite the fact that bed bugs do not feed on cats and dogs because they cannot bite their skin tissue, these pets can transfer the parasites. Moreover, bats and birds can be transmitters of these parasites as well.

    Thus, once appeared in the house, bed bugs can spread through the entire apartment. They can inhabit all the places where they can be caught only by the professional desinfectants. Moreover, bed bugs can fall into anabiosis because of the absence of food. Thus, the bugs can stay in uninhabited apartments for more than a few months. A flat can be perfectly clean at first glance, but insects and their larvae will crawl out of the cracks as soon as they smell a human body.

    How Do You Get Bed Bugs

    By DoMyOwn staff

    How do people get Bed bugs in the first place? To some it seems like they just magically appear, and people are often left scratching their heads (and other areas…), confused and frustrated that they’ve wound up with a bed full of bugs. However, it is no mystery how bed bugs are spread from place to place; humans have helped spread bed bug infestations for hundreds of years.

    How Bed Bugs Spread

    The incorrect assumption is that dirty locations attract bed bugs and house bed bug populations. Although most dirty locations do attract a host of nasty insects that spread germs and contaminate areas, bed bugs are pleased with clean or dirty.

    Bed bugs are able to spread via human travel and movement. The unique flattened and small round shaped of the bed bug allows them to hide just about anywhere they can squeeze.

    They hitch rides onto the fabrics of furniture, mattresses, luggage, clothing, etc., where they ride until they find a suitable host area, like your bedroom. This is where bed bugs can establish populations, which they can accomplish fairly quickly.

    Where You Can Get Bed Bugs

    Bed bugs are most often found in homes, apartment buildings, college dormitories, and hotels, which are all places with consistent hosts at rest for bed bugs to feed. But bed bugs have also been found in daycares, movie theatres, and even city buses; these places generally don’t have large established populations, but bed bugs can be picked up and transferred from people resting in these areas. Since people are constantly rotating in these spaces, bed bugs can be deposited and picked up on clothing, bags, and purses and taken home.

    Bed bugs hiding in furniture, mattresses, and other items you might bring into your home is another common way of picking up these little hitchhikers.

    Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, they travel commonly by luggage. Hotels and motels, no matter how clean or shining the reputation, can be susceptible to bed bug infestations. This is one of the most common ways people get bed bugs, when the bed bugs hitch a ride back to the traveler’s home.

    Steps to Prevent Getting Bed bugs

    • Never bring in upholstered furniture, bed frames, mattresses, or box springs found on the street into your home.
    • Check all borrowed, rented, or second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring them into your home. Check all cracks and crevices, even in wooden furniture.
    • The best way to prevent the spreading of bed bugs when traveling is to check the rooms before you stay in hotels. The nicest and cleanest hotels can be infested. Don’t place luggage on the ground, and inspect mattress, box spring, headboard, etc., for bedbugs before spending a night in your room.
    • If you suspect you’ve been around bed bugs, inspect your clothing and any items you had with you before entering your home. If bedbugs are found, launder items immediately or place in plastic bags until further treatment can be carried out with products like Sterifab.
    • Even if you don’t have bedbugs, seal cracks and crevices in your bedroom with caulk. Door and window frames, baseboards, floorboards, etc., should all be sealed to eliminate bed bug hiding spots. You can even seal cracks and crevices in bedroom furniture. Consider using a bed bug mattress cover, a box spring encasement, and even bed bug pillow covers to prevent bed bugs from taking residence in these items.
    • To do your part in preventing the spread of bed bugs, if you have to throw away any infested items, make sure to cover them in plastic if possible. Always place signs on the items stating that the items are infested in bed bugs. Never donate infested items.

    If you already have a Bed bug infestation, read our article: How to Get Rid of Bed bugs

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    14 Tips How to Prevent Bed Bugs Bites at Home and when Travelling

    In recent years, bed bugs become more common and they are also difficult to control. Especially, when you travel, bed bug should be one of your concerns. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take in order to prevent bed bugs bites. By avoiding bed bugs when travelling, avoiding contaminated materials, as well as protecting your home, you will be able to prevent bed bugs.

    List Of Simple Ways On How To Prevent Bed Bugs Bites:

    In this article, I want to show you some of the simplest ways that can help you prevent bed bugs from getting into your house and while travelling. So, if you have already experienced bed bugs bites, and want to know how to prevent this problem from occurring again, you should keep your eyes on this article right now.

    CONTENTS

    I. Symptoms Of Bed Bugs

    Bedbugs are small, brownish insects living on the blood of humans and animals. Bedbugs are often active at night and bite people who are sleeping. The bugs feed from 3- 10 minutes and then crawl away unnoticed. At first, most of the bedbug bites are painless, but they turn into itchy welts later on.

    Some of the most common signs and symptoms of bed bug are:

    • Itching on the skin
    • Skin eruptions
    • Small red bumps
    • Skin dryness

    Although less common, you can develop some life-threatening reactions to bites caused by bed bugs. These reactions include:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Large blisters
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Fever
    • Swollen tongue
    • Infection from scratching
    • Nausea
    • Anemia

    List of 30 Best Tips On How To Get Rid Of Fever Blisters on Face Naturally will show you some of the best tips that can help you treat fever blisters on facial skin naturally and effectively, so check it out!

    II. How To Prevent Bed Bugs In Your House

    Bed bugs can live in many places in your house. Fortunately, there are some measures that you can take to prevent a bed bug infestation in your house. Here are some simple tips that can be effective in reducing the risks of getting bed bugs bites.

    1. Replace The Mattress Every 2-3 Years

    This is the first way on how to prevent bed bugs bites at home that we want to mention in this article and want all of my readers to apply for good. It is a smart action you should take if you want to eliminate this problem from its source. When bed bugs have appeared in your bed, it is very difficult to find out where they are, and eliminate them. Addition to this, bed bugs can spread to other areas around your home and you will find difficult to control them.

    Also, you can cover your mattress with a plastic protective cover. The bed bugs will not be able to crawl under this protective cover and penetrate the fabric. You can find mattress protective covers at most of the bed-selling stores. If you bring bed bugs to your home, the protective covers will help you see the bugs more easily. If bed bugs have already appeared in your mattress, you should dispose of these bugs instead of removing them.

    Read on How To Get Rid Of Bed Bug Bites On Skin Fast – Top 37 Tips to discover some of the best ways that can help you treat bed bug bites on skin naturally.

    2. Use Essential Oils

    There are a few scent options that can be used to keep the bed bugs away, so you can pick any of these essential oils. You just need to add 6-10 drops of your favorite essential oil to a spray bottle that is packed with ¼ cup of water. Then, spray the scented water on your items and in your house.

    Some essential oils that can help keep bed bugs away include cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, peppermint, thyme, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil. Plus, you can make a repellant for the body by mixing the essential oil in a carrier oil like grape-seed or jojoba oil. This is also one of the best tips on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling and at home that you should not miss yet make use right from today!

    To know some of the best tips that can help you improve your skin with the help of natural oils, read on Top 34 Tips On How To Improve Skin Naturally With Oils

    3. Vacuum Rugs And Carpets Often

    To prevent a bed bug infestation, you should vacuum your carpets and rugs every week. If you suspect that you have already brought home bed bugs, then you should vacuum daily until you are sure that there is no bed bug in your house. After that, you should dispose of the vacuum contents in plastic bags before removing them from your home right away. Actually, vacuuming your items often is known as one of the greatest ways on how to prevent bed bugs bites that you should not look down.

    4. Check Secondhand Clothes And Furniture

    When it comes to ways on how to prevent bed bugs bites, you should try to check secondhand clothes and furniture. According to a study [1] , secondhand clothes and furniture are some biggest risks for bug infestation, so purchasing new items may be your safest solution. In case you decide to buy secondhand items, you should make sure to check the crevices and seams of all secondhand items for red spots or reddish-brown bed bugs. Then, wash and dry all of the washable items immediately. Also, you do not take any piece of furniture or clothes from the trash.

    If you want to know some of the best ways that can help you treat spots on your facial skin fast, read on 20 Effective Ways On How To Get Rid Of Spots On Face Fast

    5. Store Your Clothes in Sealed Bags

    When you are looking for simple ways on how to prevent bed bugs bites, storing your clothing in sealed bags may be a great solution. You should store them in vacuum-sealed bags because this can make your items less accessible to bugs. Addition to this, you should also keep your seasonal clothes in vacuum sealed bags, remove the air from these bags before putting them away. This way can help you prevent your items like blankets and sweaters from getting infested by bugs.

    6. Always Check Used Items

    To prevent a bed bug infestation, you should check the used items regularly, even harmless products such as electronics. Even if it seems to have no bed bug, you should also perform basic checks to all of your items in your house, even items you plan to bring into your house. Some items such as stereo receivers, computers, televisions, game systems and remotes have vents where bugs can hide easily, so you should check these vents carefully.

    7. Use Home Remedies For Bed Bug Bites

    To prevent bed bug bites, you can use organic soaps and lotions. Also, these products are gentle for the skin, so you can include them in your skin care for good.

    • Use witch hazel lotion and apple cider vinegar to help prevent pain and itching caused by bed bug bites.
    • Rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus oils can be added to some rubbing alcohol for spraying items to prevent bed bug bites.
    • If you have bed bug bites, wash the affected skin with hot water before applying aloe vera gel to prevent scarring.
    • Rub an ice cube on your affected skin to numb the skin area and prevent pain and scarring as well.

    Next, we will show you some of the simplest ways on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling. So, if you are planning to travel to other areas and want to prevent the risk of bringing bedbugs home, you should keep reading this article right now.

    III. How To Prevent Bed Bugs When Travelling

    Travelling is so wonderful, but bringing bed bugs home from travelling is actually a nightmare for everyone. However, you can take some simple measures to prevent bugs when travelling.

    1. Investigate Hotels

    According to a study [2] , prior to choosing a hotel, you need to research some options and also read customer comments. Currently, there are a lot of sites offering hotel feedbacks, so you can take advantage of these helpful resources. However, in some cases, an unhappy guest who just wants to ruin the reputation of the hotel can leave negative comments. So, if you see a few comments related to the bed bugs, consider them a legitimate concern.

    Actually, this is known as one of the best ways on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling that you should know and then try to apply for good.

    2. Check The Signs Of Bed Bugs

    Another way on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling that you should not look down is to check the signs of bed bugs. Look for small red spots, reddish-brown bugs, egg casings, and yellow skins. Check crevices and seams of all of the furniture in your hotel. You do not neglect the wooden furniture near your mattress. In case you find a bug, you can leave the hotel immediately. If you cannot find any bed bug, this does not mean that there is no bug there. If you have had an itchy rash after waking up, then bed bugs may be present in your bed.

    3. Keep The Luggage Away From Your Bed

    Even in case you do not find any sign of bed bugs, you should avoid keeping your luggage near the hotel bed. Your luggage can become a possible source that carries bugs back from your travel. According to a study about keeping the bedbugs at bay [3] , keeping your items away the bed can give you the best option to prevent a bed bug infestation. If there is no luggage rack in your hotel room, the bathroom may be the safest locations for your luggage.

    Besides, if you are worried about the bedbug concern in your hotel, you should:

    • Do not use too many towels.
    • Do not hang anything in the closet
    • Bring your own pillows.
    4. Wash Your Clothes Separate From Your Other Laundry

    When you wash your clothes, you should include all of your clothes that you brought, not just the clothes you have already worn. Then, you should dry your clothes on the highest setting or take your clothes to the professional dry cleaners. According to a research [4] , the high heat can kill off bed bugs while washing alone will not be enough to kill the bugs. To get the best results, wash the items in hot water and then dry them for 30 minutes on high heat. If you suspect that there are bed bugs on your clothes, you should undress on the hard surface floor. Then, you will wipe off the floor in order to capture bed bug that can fall off your clothes.

    Do you want to know other great ways on how to prevent bed bugs bites? If your answer is “yes”, you should continue to read this article for good.

    5. Teach Your Children Hotel Protocol

    When it comes to ways on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling, you should teach your children hotel protocol. You just need to tell your children the reason why you are inspecting the room and tell them the concerns about bedbugs and other insects. Also, you can look for traces of white powder because it could be used to treat bed bugs. Insecticides are not good for human health, especially young children. And, you may want to ask for another hotel room or go to another hotel.

    6. Have A Post – Vacation Plan

    When you go back home from your travel, you should wash all of your clothing in hot water. Remember that bedbugs cannot survive in temperature above 122 o F, so this will ensure that you do not take up bed bugs in your drawers and closets. Besides, you should vacuum out your suitcases, cover them with a plastic luggage case, seal them up before storing them away.

    In fact, this is another great way on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling that you should know and then consider having a post-vacation plan right after you come back home.

    7. Use Neem Oil

    This is the last but very important way on how to prevent bed bugs when travelling that we want to mention in this article and want all of my readers to apply for good. Consider using a natural insecticide for your hotel room. And neem oil [5] may be one of the best solutions for you. You just need to mist your bed and its surroundings with a spray containing a few drops of neem oil. Actually, using neem oil is a safe solution that can help you keep bed bugs at bay.

    After reading this interesting article and discovering simple ways on how to prevent bed bugs bites, you and my other readers of Healthy Guide should consider applying one or more of these natural ways as soon as possible. Actually, all of these ways have been reported to be effective in preventing bed bugs from getting into your house. Therefore, if you are concerning about this problem, you should try to apply these ways for good. One more things, if you know other simple ways on how to prevent bed bugs bites or you have any experience in this problem, you should share them with other readers by leaving your comments in the comment below.

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